Bottled water usually undergoes filtration processes rather than distillation because it contains essential minerals that affect the taste and nutritional value of the water. Distilled water, on the other hand, is entirely pure H20 because distillation removes all of its impurities, including minerals.
‘Bottled water’ is a very broad category that includes three main types of water that have undergone different filtration or purification treatments. While there are some companies who do distil their naturally sourced water, these companies usually reintroduce certain minerals back into the water before bottling.
What is Distilled Water?
Distilled water is a form of purified water that has had all of its impurities removed, including mineral salts, ionic compounds and microorganisms. This is achieved by a process called distillation.
What is Distillation?
Distillation involves heating water past its boiling point so that it begins to vaporise. The vapour is then collected and condensed back into a liquid. Any impurities in the water do not vaporise because of their higher boiling points, meaning that the resulting sample of water is almost 100% pure. Distilled water is commonly used in industrial applications that require high-specification water.
Types of Bottled Water
The biggest difference between bottled water and distilled water is that bottled water is meant for drinking and distilled water is not. This is because of the mineral content of each form of water, which is determined by the way in which these products are filtered or purified.
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), there are three main categories of bottled water: spring water, mineral water and purified drinking water.
Perhaps the most common form of bottled water, spring water is sourced from an underground formation known as an aquifer. Water passes through the permeable layers of an aquifer before reaching the surface, and this process loads it with trace minerals and electrolytes which are what contribute to its taste.
This type of bottled water is generally considered to be the best for hydration and for providing a range of health benefits. This is all because of its natural mineral content, but this doesn’t mean that spring water isn’t filtered.
Spring water is usually passed through multiple filtration stages in order to remove heavy particles or unwanted elements. However, this filtration process does not remove its minerals. At the end of the process, the spring water gets bottled with all of its natural integrity preserved.
Like spring water, mineral water passes underground before being sourced from a mineral spring. Instead of passing through permeable layers, mineral water actually passes through rocks which infuse it with a range of essential minerals. These include zinc, calcium and magnesium, as well as a range of ionic compounds (salts) which are:
- Inorganic (chloride, Cl–)
- Organic (acetate, CH3CO–2)
- Monatomic (fluoride, F–)
- Polyatomic (sulphate, SO42-)
The difference between these two types of water is the stipulations surrounding them. In order to be called true mineral water, for example, the trace mineral content must stand at 250ppm. UK legislation also stipulates that the source of mineral water must be an officially recognised site that is backed by at least 2 years of microbiological testing.
As well as this, the filtration of mineral water is permitted but only for the removal of things like iron, sulphur and arsenic. No extra minerals are allowed to be added to the product as these will affect the natural minerals that give the water its properties.
Purified Drinking Water
It is important to note that purified drinking water is not the same as purified water. The latter refers to water that has had all of its impurities removed via a scientific purification process.
The resulting product is used in a range of industries, from laboratory applications and pharmaceutical manufacturing to automotive engines and electrical circuit boards. Other than distilled water, the 2 main types of purified water are:
- Deionised water which is produced via deionisation
- Demineralised water which is produced by demineralisation
The reason purified water is not recommended for human consumption is that its lack of minerals makes it poor-tasting and nutritionally deficient. In fact, if these forms of water are continually drank they have the potential to remove existing minerals and electrolytes from the body.
Purified drinking water, on the other hand, usually refers to water that has undergone a purification process and then had minerals reintroduced into it before bottling. This is usually done via distillation so that manufacturers can be confident that any microorganisms have been removed.
Therefore, while some bottled water products have been distilled, this does not make them distilled water because they are not 100% pure. Distilled water has an acidic taste, and so even if minerals have been added back into it after distillation, its taste is still not as fresh as that of natural spring or mineral water.
For comprehensive information about distilled water, check out our Complete Guide to Distilled Water resource.
While the purified water products ReAgent supplies are not for human consumption, they are well suited to a range of industrial applications. All of our products are backed by a 100% quality guarantee, including our distilled water, and are manufactured to the highest purity levels to ensure your business needs are being met.
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